About Sam Hall Kaplan


SAM HALL KAPLAN is a distinguished print and broadcast journalist, author and teacher, who has pursued parallel careers as an urban designer and planning strategist. He has many arrows in his creative quiver.

He is at present a widely read commentator on social media, locally in Malibu and Southern California,  in the Los Angeles Review of Books, and nationally on ARCHNEWSNOW.Com and this site, CITYOBSERVED,COM.

Kaplan has been an Emmy award winning reporter/ producer for Fox Television News in a L.A., the design critic for the Los Angeles Times, an urban affairs reporter for The New York Times, an editor of The New York Post, and contributor to popular and professional publications and broadcast outlets. At present these include the Architect’s Newspaper, the Planning Report, Planetizen.

Books include “The Dream Deferred: People, Politics and Planning in Suburbia,” the best selling “L.A. Lost and Found,” an architectural history of Los Angeles, “L.A. Follies,” a collection of essays, and co-author of “The New York City Handbook.”

He also has served as a “problem solving” consultant to, among others, Disney Imagineering, Janss Corp., American Nevada Corporation, the Milken Institute, Howard Hughes Properties, Dreamworks, Playa Vista, and various planning and architecture firms. Hands on experiences have included directing the design and construction of a variety of projects that have included nearly one billion dollars of innovative mixed-use air rights developments in New York City.

He also was an urban renewal director of New Haven (Ct), a special assistant to the US Comptroller of the Currency, and planning manager for the L.A. Metropolitan Transportation Authority. .Among other diverse pursuits: FX for the TV series 90210, in which he also acted.

His past academic experience includes directing for a decade an acclaimed “creative and critical thinking” studio at the Art Center College of Design. He also has taught at UCLA, SCIARC, USC, Yale and the City University of New York,

Kaplan has received grants from the Ford Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts, among others, and awards from many public and professional groups, including the American Institute of Architects, the Sierra Club and AFTRA, and in NY, has served a vice chairman of the East Harlem planning board and in L.A. as a housing advisor to the Mayor and chair of several volunteer planning and design efforts.

He continually is in search of challenges

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